Guy Austin
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A brief history of Algerian cinema
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It has become a commonplace that 'Algerian cinema was born out of the war of independence and served that war'. Film in Algeria also preserved the memory of that war, legitimising the FLN regime after independence by mythologising the liberation struggle. The integration of Algerian land and Algerian people, a reaction against the violent dispossession enacted by colonialism, is at the heart of Le Vent des Aurès, in particular via the village scenes and the harvest sequence. This early example of the Eastern Bloc's involvement in independent Algerian cinema was followed by significant influence on the work of Mohamed Lakhdar Hamina. Jamila Bouhired, for instance, the subject of Chahine's film, was not celebrated in Algerian cinema, although her example was used in FLN propaganda during the war. Cinemagoing in Algeria peaked in 1975 with 45 million film tickets sold across a population of 20 million.

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